fertility treatments

FertilityAre you having difficulty conceiving? Perhaps you have been trying for several months without success? Chinese Medicine has an extensive history in the treatment of infertility. It offers individualised fertility treatments that are minimally invasive, able to regulate hormonal and reproductive functions, and address other specific fertility issues.

Karen’s fertility treatments utilise evidence-based protocols based on the outcomes of clinical research. She gained significant experience treating some of the rarer and more challenging fertility issues during her years as Senior Practitioner at The Acupuncture IVF Support / Pregnancy Clinic, directed by Jane Lyttleton. You can read in detail about fertility treatments for specific issues affecting men here and women here

Chinese medicine fertility treatment is designed to

  • improve reproduction function and general health
  • improve the quality of the gametes (egg and sperm quality)
  • achieve a healthy conception
  • secure early pregnancy and preventing miscarriage
  • provide assistance during Assisted Fertility / IVF treatment

Please note that Karen takes a collaborative approach to patient care. In some cases she may refer you to a GP for further investigations (such as blood tests or a semen analysis). She can then discuss how Chinese medicine can best assist you as a singular form of therapy or in conjunction with Western medical treatment.

Clinical Research

Clinical research into the beneficial effects of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in fertility treatment has demonstrated improved reproductive function and more favourable assisted reproduction outcomes .

Research published in the medical journals Fertility and Sterility (2009 Dec;92(6):1870-9) and Human Reproduction (2009 Feb;24(2):341-8) indicate that acupuncture normalises stress hormones and positively influences blood flow to the ovaries, uterus and endometrium.

Studies on the effects of acupuncture and herbs for the treatment of fertility issues including anovulation, PCOS and endometriosis also show improved reproductive function and healthier blood flow. Clinical trials looking at the effect of acupuncture, herbs and moxa on male fertility and sperm quality showed improvements in sperm motility and morphology, and, in some trials, increases in sperm count. You can read published clinical research here

When to seek fertility assistance

You don’t need to have a specific diagnosis or condition to have acupuncture for fertility. Assistance is most commonly sought in the following circumstances:

  • unsuccessfully trying to conceive for 6 months or more
  • prior history of taking a long time to conceive previous children
  • menstrual cycle disorders (e.g. no periods, irregular periods, painful periods, very heavy or very light periods, extreme PMS)
  • menstrual cycle is slow to return after using the contraceptive pill, mirena or implanon implant
  • known medical conditions that reduce fertility (e.g. PCOS, hypothyroidism, low sperm count)
  • prior history of miscarriage

In developing a fertility treatment plan, Karen will examine your whole health history, presenting symptoms, lifestyle factors and nutrition. For women, it is vital to consider the menstrual cycle, ovulation signs and any PMS symptoms. For men, the analysis of a range of health and lifestyle factors is vital to developing a successful treatment plan. The consideration of all these factors enables the development of highly specialised acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine fertility programme that is adapted to address your individual needs and clinical presentation.

Karen is experienced in the treatment of

  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS and PCO)
  • high FSH, low AMH
  • premature ovarian failure
  • anovulation (no ovulation)
  • amenorrhoea (absence of periods)
  • endometriosis
  • fibroids, uterine polyps, adhesions, adenomyosis
  • impaired fertility resulting from chemotherapy treatment
  • fluid in the fallopian tubes (hydrosalpinx)
  • immune factors, elevated NK cells
  • autoimmune disease impaired fertility (e.g autoimmune thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s and Graves disease)
  • recurrent miscarriage
  • male and female hormonal / endocrine factors
  • unexplained infertility
  • varicocele and hydrocele
  • low sperm count, poor morphology, low motility, high DNA fragmentation